BAE Systems in Glascoed near Usk, recently welcomed Chris Evans, Member of Parliament for Islwyn, and Shadow Minister for Defence Procurement, to its world-class energetics facility.
The site, which was built in 1939, has a proud history of equipping the British Armed Forces and international customers with a range of munitions products, including heavy artillery and tank ammunition.
As part of the visit, Mr Evans was given a tour of the high explosives mixing facility, coupled with an overview of the Companies latest cutting-edge technology, including Resonant Acoustic Mixing – an innovative mixing technology, anticipated to deliver sustainability benefits, including a reduction in energy and waste.
Mr Evans was also provided with a briefing on the ‘Next Generations Munitions Solution’, a 15-year contract, between BAE Systems and the UK Ministry of Defence, covering the supply of munitions and engineering support. The contract, which commences in 2023, is worth approximately £2.4bn and will sustain around 4,000 highly skilled jobs both within the UK business and the wider supply chain.
To deliver the contract, the Company has committed to spending approximately £70m on refurbishing and upgrading munitions facilities across the UK with the latest technology and manufacturing processes, with approximately 70% of their future supply chain spend expected to be in the UK.
The Glascoed site, which is home to over 550 employees, will benefit from almost half of this investment, demonstrating the Company’s ongoing commitment to supporting the local economy, in a post-covid era.
To support the delivery of the new 15-year contract, the Company is currently recruiting its next generation of employees, through its Early Careers programme. Throughout the UK, more than 800 apprentices will be joining BAE Systems’ ranks this year, which marks the second consecutive record year for early careers recruitment despite the ongoing pandemic. There is a diverse selection of roles and locations to choose from, including a number of opportunities at Glascoed.
Earlier this year, the Glascoed site welcomed their first Kickstart Scheme joiner, Evan Young, who started work as part of the government’s Plan for Jobs, which aims to provide work for those at risk of long term unemployment. Following his successful placement, Evan was offered a position on the apprenticeship scheme as a Mechanical Engineer.
Commenting on the visit, Mr Evans said:
““The Glascoed site has a long history in wales, I was delighted to see it thriving. As a Shadow Defence Minister I know how vital the defence industry is to local communities and the wider economy. I was pleased to see that Glascoed has gone from strength to strength and look forward to seeing its future.